Def Leppard Considering Legal Action Against One Direction Over Similarities in Song

One Direction's "Midnight Memories" sounds a lot like Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me"

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ABC/Matt Brown

One Direction

One Direction’s new song “Midnight Madness” currently sits at No. 12 on the Billboard charts. However some classic rock fans are noticing that the tracks bears a striking similarity to Def Leppard‘s classic track “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” While the sound-alike song structure might be coincidence, but according to the British tabloid Mirror UK, Def Leppard is weighing their legal options.

This is the second time in recent months that One Direction has been accused of lifting from other artists. Their “Best Song Ever” bears a distinct resemblance to The Who’s classic “Baba O’Riley.” Luckily, The Who’s frontman Pete Townsend was flattered by the attention, noting, “I’m happy to think they may have been influenced a little bit by the Who.” Townshend gave his approval to the rock newcomers, saying, “The chords I used, and the chords they used, are the same three chords we’ve all been using in basic pop music since Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Chuck Berry made it clear that fancy chords don’t mean great music — not always.” The Who never pursued legal action against the band.

Def Leppard may not be so charitable, though. An unnamed source told the Mirror, “Everyone is staying silent at this stage but it’s clear the two songs sound alike – which has been enough for Def Leppard’s aides to pose questions to their legal team.” One Direction did not list Def Leppard in their album credits.

While Townsend was honored by the similarity, not everyone takes it as a compliment. Robin Thicke, Pharrell and T.I. filed a preemptive lawsuit over their mega-hit track “Blurred Lines” after Marvin Gaye’s estate and Bridgeport music — who own the rights to a number of Funkadelic compositions — reportedly threatened a lawsuit against Thicke et al, on the grounds that “Blurred Lines” was too similar to their copyrighted material. Gaye’s children then filed a suit of their own and the two parties are still in court. Hopefully One Direction and Def Leppard won’t have to go that route.

Take a listen to the two tracks and decide for yourself.

Here’s One Direction’s “Midnight Memories”:

And here’s Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me”

MORE: 11 Suspiciously Sound-Alike Songs

MORE: Seven Things Adults Can Love About One Direction

108 comments
auds_def_leppard
auds_def_leppard

AS MUCHH AS I LOVE THE BOYS THEY DID COPY DEF LEPPARD SADLY! THEY SHOULD OF GAVE CREDIT TO THEM

NotSoHipChild
NotSoHipChild

I'd just like to say that old or young its irrelevant to argue about something so frivolous. I love both  Def Leppard and One Direction. Sue me. I noticed a similarity. And guess what ? I got over it! Chill out.

JonathanSwift1
JonathanSwift1

Yeah I can hear it but it is not a direct rip off.  I mean in the 80s rap bands used to rip off rock all the time when they would mix a riff in or two.  I used to love Def Leopard and remember them going head to head vs Duran Duran on MTV most requested videos.  Rock of ages was the last great album I really heard from them.  Once the drummer had his accident they changed a bit.  Still amazing to think how well he played with one arm.

therein
therein

Def leppard one of the biggest and most influential band ever existed vs. 5 god awful playback talentless kids. I tried to listen "their" song (taking in consideration there should be 4 writers and 5 producers behind) but my ears were hurting after 10 seconds.

HannibalTalbot
HannibalTalbot

those are a bunch of p##ies that only because they are a bunch of pretty boys girls like them

Kcuddi93
Kcuddi93

didnt hear ANY resemblance AT ALL . def leppard song was horrible . One direction is awesome .

rickrick
rickrick

Def Leppard needs to pour some unta gleebin globbin globin on it, and just shut the F up.

dood777
dood777

The chorus part uses the same three chords - E A B. The thing is, chord progressions are not copyright-able (there's a limited number of chords), only melodies are. And the melody has to be the same for a certain number of measures - I don't know what that is off the top of my head. Now, going back and listening to this, I notice the first part of the chorus also sounds like it has a very similar melody to PSSOM, but then it changes. You would have to sit down and figure out the two songs note for note and compare them. I tell ya what, it might be close but I don't think Def Leppard would win in court.

madi.hauser98
madi.hauser98

I don't really see similarities. ONE DIRECTION ROCKS,

mhartwick11
mhartwick11

The song is called "Midnight Memories" not Mightnight Madness. 

doveholly
doveholly

Update,  Read this & thought I would share:


"However, guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell have told Billboard that they are not launching a lawsuit and that the songs are only "very similar in structure".

"The chords are one-four-five," Campbell said. "Those are the blues. You don't get more basic than that. I think what's more reminiscent of the Leppard thing is the production, the sound, the vocals, the reverb and the way it's assembled.

"That is very flattering that all of a sudden these kids think it's a cool sound. I think a lot of people of their generation aren't going to connect their music to ours."

Collen stated that the close similarities are not on a par with the controversy surrounding Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' and Marvin Gaye's 'Got To Give It Up'.

"That's different," he said. "In fact it's got the mayonnaise jar and people hooting in the background which Marvin Gaye had. I don't see that you can do that. The One Direction one is very similar in structure, but it's all good."





 

Superman
Superman

I didn't hear the resemblance.  The One Direction song just sucked!!

doveholly
doveholly

Please stop with the seniors/old-timers crap already, as if you think you'll be a teen forever, with any luck, you'll live as long. As far as addressing the similarities in songs, a lot of artists do it and have done it, but it's out of RESPECT, that you ask the original artist if it's okay. Def Leppard was and is a relevant band. Many young artists would do well to listen to Pyromania or Hysteria just to create something different of their own. Def Leppard use to listen to a lot of bands and created their own style from it.  So up-yours with the stupid insults, there should be more creativity in music, not just "borrowing" or remaking stuff, just like movies and all these stupid remakes. One Direction is a good band, Def Leppard was a great band. My ten year old niece is a big DL fan, I took her when she was nine years old to see BTR/One Direction and Def Leppard, she loved them both, enough said.

buckmindo
buckmindo

i really dont hear the resemblance.

DannyAlley
DannyAlley

Perhaps they don't remember the 80's when Every Song sounded almost the same. These are both good songs but they don't sound anything alike to me.


courtneymlake22518
courtneymlake22518

Okay so first the chorus is the only part of the song that songs just a tad bit like it. There are only 7 music notes so obviously some songs are going to sound like others. I think that this old "rocker" can pull his shiny leopard man thong right out of his butt. Just because he can't sell music anymore the way he used to and he is probably broke because he did not save his money when he was actually famous. Sorry that the newer generation of music is taking over. Sorry about this luck. 

joechefallen
joechefallen

Both Songs are loosely based on Joan Jetts, I Love Rock n Roll.

thetawake
thetawake

In spite of Def Leppard's dancing the line between classic rock and glam rock, it's amazing how the new One Direction song sounds small and hollow up against a song that's going on 30yrs old.  I guess computer generated music just isn't quite there yet...

iBolski
iBolski

The case against Lada Gaga vs. Madonna holds more credence. I love Def Leppard. Listened to them while in high school and saw them live in Indianapolis right after Steve Clark passed away. Awesome concert, but this is a reach. Can't believe Def Leppard is considering persuing this. Other than the chorus, which is more similiar beat-wise than it is melody, I just don't hear the similarities.

ArU.Gaetü
ArU.Gaetü

They, both, sound like the much more popular "We Will Rock You" by Queen (Oct 1977).

"Pour Some Sugar On Me", Def Leppard (Sep 1987)

"Midnight Memories", One Direction (Nov 2013).

MikeGannome
MikeGannome

Doesn't sound that much like it. Lots of songs have little similarities. No case for Def Leppard.

RedSkinnedAlive
RedSkinnedAlive

Wow the new formula for success, take a classic all time hit and ruin it, I could find the next hit at a karaoke bar, once is a coincident; twice not so much. ..Still remember a girl i dated briefly who claimed Led Zeppelin's Kashmir ripped off Puff Daddy

cbw
cbw

It's clear that 1 direction doesn't write their own music, its even questionable that they perform their own music but the chorus of both songs is very similar but not enough to sue over in my opinion.  If vanilla ice can get away with it so can 1 direction.  Too bad no one has an original idea anymore.

deanobambino64
deanobambino64

Def Leppard had their time in the spotlight. They are coming off like crusty old senior citizens by making such a silly claim. The song is not the same in any way. It's a shame to see an old classic 80s band stoop this low. Why don't they do like  the other geriatric bands are doing and do another farewell tour... kiss has done half a dozen. The Eagles are doing theirs, Brian Adams is on the road as well. Maybe they are just unable to do music anymore and have no choice but to resort to petty griping like this?

DMC6
DMC6

The main difference is that one of the above is still one of the greatest songs of all time.


The other is a horrid piece of garbage. Seriously, is this what passes for music these days? 


The guitar riffs might be similar but I could barely tell with the rest of the wretched music coming out of the speaker.

LeighAnneDearing
LeighAnneDearing

Sounds somewhat similar to me, except this song sucks. 

elvisthree16
elvisthree16

Def Leppard has no case.  This soul-less rock sounds nothing like their song.  Sounds like both bands are trying to sell some records with this nonsense. 

elvisthree16
elvisthree16

Pete Townsend probably traded One Direction for some naughty pictures. 

foddermail86
foddermail86

Wow.  Listening to Pyromania gives me chills even 30 years later.  Not so much for Hysteria, but still solid.  Listening to One Direction gives me nothing.  Did they steal part of the song?  Sure sounds like it.  I guess that is offensive, but what is far worse is the fact that they created such a crappy song from something great.

auds_def_leppard
auds_def_leppard

@Kcuddi93  um no. Def Leppard is a classic and as much as the boys mean to me they cant top Def Leppard

JonathanSwift1
JonathanSwift1

I think it is definitely there but it is not note for note.  Def Leopard is more Hard rock wear One direction is Pop rock.  Mmmmmm pop rocks

JonathanSwift1
JonathanSwift1

The One D sound is not for me but then again I am old enough that my kids would like it.

JonathanSwift1
JonathanSwift1

I don't hear it with we will rock you. But everyone hears things differently.

JonathanSwift1
JonathanSwift1

LOL yeah I love when people say things like that.  OMG that guy Beethoven totally ripped off Van Halen :p

emilyramberg1234
emilyramberg1234

@cbw  Um, Actually they do write there on songs. I do agree that they should not get sued cause thats just a bunch of crap. But they did write there own songs. 

TwoCarTango22
TwoCarTango22

@cbw  Please do your homework before you make a comment like this. They did, in fact, co-wrote majority of the songs on their latest album (I even looked). And if I remember correctly, they were put together as a group on a singing competition by Simon Cowell, and we all know that if you can't sing, he'll be the first to acknowledge that. 


Although there are some similarities between the two songs, to me, it sounds like they were just heavily influenced and nothing more. 



JonathanSwift1
JonathanSwift1

it is a rumor which has yet to be verified.  One poster pasted in where 2 band members said it was no big deal and they think is is a compliment.  Everyone has their own tastes.  

CarlosMathers
CarlosMathers

@deanobambino64 The chorus is VERY similar, and if you can't tell you must be tone deaf in which case you have no valid opinion here

LeighAnneDearing
LeighAnneDearing

@deanobambino64 Def Leppard still sells out shows all over the world, and they've been on Dancing with the Stars and The Voice just last week. Obviously somebody still thinks they are relevant. Apparently, you aren't paying attention. Go back to listening to this mediocre boy band who won't be around in 5 years. Come back and talk to us when One Direction has two of the biggest selling rock albums of all time. 

sweetm754
sweetm754

@LeighAnneDearing Rock and Pop are two different genres of music and for your information One Direction have already broken a few records. I agree with deanobambino64, I am not taking away from Def Leppard because they were obviously a hit back in the day and still have a loyal fan base and their songs will be classic but I haven't heard any recent music from them and the fact that they want to pursue a case against a boy band that is worth a lot more...is pretty embarrassing.Everyone has different tastes so most that like Def Leppard aren't going to be in the boy band genre and One Direction.

JonathanSwift1
JonathanSwift1

Someone above posted this reaction from a couple of the Def Leopard members.

"However, guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell have told Billboard that they are not launching a lawsuit and that the songs are only "very similar in structure".

"The chords are one-four-five," Campbell said. "Those are the blues. You don't get more basic than that. I think what's more reminiscent of the Leppard thing is the production, the sound, the vocals, the reverb and the way it's assembled.

"That is very flattering that all of a sudden these kids think it's a cool sound. I think a lot of people of their generation aren't going to connect their music to ours."

Collen stated that the close similarities are not on a par with the controversy surrounding Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' and Marvin Gaye's 'Got To Give It Up'.

"That's different," he said. "In fact it's got the mayonnaise jar and people hooting in the background which Marvin Gaye had. I don't see that you can do that. The One Direction one is very similar in structure, but it's all good."